The Alocasia and the Philodendron are two of the most popular varieties of houseplants that are well-loved by novices and experts alike. These plants are prized because of their stunning displays that require minimal maintenance and care.
But is Alocasia related to Philodendron?
Yes, the Alocasia and the Philodendron are species that are members of the Araceae family of tropical plants. As a result of this familial connection, these two plants share a lot of common features. However, they are completely different plants.
Read this short guide that aims to help you decide which of these plants best suits you according to their specific care and maintenance needs.
What is an Alocasia?
Alocasia is a unique native plant species that grow in the subtropics of eastern Australia and Asia. The plant grows from tubers rather than seeds. It is also best known for its large leaves that are often shaped like an ear, arrow, or heart. These leaves are known to grow to a length of up to three feet.
While the leaves of Alocasia are often green, they can also come in pink, red, or even variegated colors with a coarse or bumpy texture.
Care Requirements of Alocasia
Here are some of the care requirements of Alocasia:
Alocasia plants need lots of feeding, with larger plants requiring even more feed. Make sure you apply a good quality well-balanced feed during the spring and summer months often. You can also apply small quantities of granular feed.
Alocasias don’t tolerate the cold well as they thrive better in very humid environments. See to it that you keep your Alocasias away from cold draughts. These plants love being in the kitchen or bathroom. If you cannot put your plant in a humid spot, make sure you mist frequently or put it on a pebble tray to boost humidity.
Alocasia plants love partial shade or filtered light. Ideally, the best option is a bright or well-lit room with thin curtains or shutters covering the window. However, the plant will still be fine even if you keep it away from direct light. The leaves of these plants will become more vibrant in lower light conditions.
The plant species loves water, which means you need to water it regularly for the soil to stay moist without being soggy. However, Alocasias can be very unforgiving of overwatering which can make them more prone to common pests and fungal infections.
Just water the plant if the top several inches of the soil has turned dry. Don’t forget that this plant goes dormant during the winter months when it will need a lot less watering than usual.
What is a Philodendron?
Philodendrons are tropical plants native to Venezuela, Colombia, and the Caribbean. The loose translation of its name is “tree hugger” since the plant loves to climb.
When growing in their natural habitat, Philodendrons climb trees to reach on top of the canopy. Philodendrons are also houseplants that have been a mainstay in indoor gardens for many centuries, prized and valued because of their low-maintenance nature.
Philodendrons have two main types: vining and non-climbing Philodendrons. Vining Philodendrons like the heartleaf Philodendron climb supporting structures. Non-climbing Philodendrons like the bird’s nest Philodendron or lacy tree Philodendron, on the other hand, form large displays of upright plants growing wider instead of taller.
The Philodendron species are most remarkable for their huge leathery leaves that can be heart, pointed, or oval-shaped. The leaves are often lush green with either cerise or cream variegation.
Care Requirements of Philodendron
Philodendrons are houseplants that are easy to care for. They are well-loved by their owners because they will tell you immediately if something is wrong. Keep a close eye on the leaves of your Philodendron because they will inform you if they need less or more water, moisture, or light.
Below are the other care and maintenance needs of Philodendrons:
Climbing Philodendron species need something they can climb on. Some of your best options here are plant support and moss poke. Philodendrons will clasp on anything they can climb on, so make sure you let them climb where you prefer them to.
Use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer for houseplants when feeding your Philodendron. Water every month in summer and spring, and every six to eight weeks during autumn and winter. Your plant will need more fertilizer if it is a slow grower or has small leaves.
When the new leaves that emerge are pale, these indicate that your Philodendron requires more magnesium and calcium so look for a fertilizer that contains these two.
Philodendrons are tropical plants that love humid environments and often thrive in kitchens or bathrooms. However, you can also put these plants anywhere you like. But if the spot you choose is less humid, make sure you put it on a pebble tray or mist the leaves approximately two times a week.
The Philodendron loves sunlight, which means you need to put the plant in a sunny area with indirect bright light. The ideal position is one close to a sunny window. However, it should be out of any direct contact with the rays of the sun.
If there is excessive sun, the plant’s leaves will start to become yellow or blister and burn. When the light is too dim, the color of the leaves may start to fade and turn brown.
Before you water your Philodendron, allow the soil’s top inch to dry out first. The easiest method for testing this is to insert up to the first knuckle of your finger into the soil. Water your plant properly until the soil becomes moist without being soggy. See to it that you also use a pot that drains well.
If the plant is under or overwatered, the leaves of your plant will start to droop. Once it happens, try adjusting the watering schedule as needed to help the leaves bounce back to life fast.
The Bottom Line
Yes, Alocasia and Philodendron are related to each other, and both would make amazing additions to your houseplant collection.